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India approves Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine

April 13, 2021

India has authorized the restricted emergency use of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Picture shows two vials of the Sputnik V vaccine. and a syringe
Sputnik V could become the third vaccine to receive approval for use in IndiaImage: Dado Ruvic/REUTERS

Indian regulators have approved the use of the Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, the health ministry said in a statement on Monday.

"India, the world’s 2nd most populous nation, became the 60th country to register #SputnikV after positive results of local Phase 3 clinical study. Sputnik V is now authorized in 60 countries with a population of over 3 [billion] people," a tweet from Sputnik V’s official account read.

India's Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) was deliberating on an application by pharmaceutical company Dr Reddy's Laboratories, that had sought the authorization for Sputnik V.

"After detailed deliberation the SEC recommended for grant of permission for restricted use in emergency situations subject to various regulatory provisions," the health ministry's statement read. 

The recommendation comes as the South Asian nation battles an uptick in cases of the virus, amid reports of vaccine shortages and an overwhelmed health infrastructure in several states. 

On Monday, India overtook Brazil to become the second worst-hit nation in the world, in overall terms, reporting a daily record of 168,912 new cases.

The country’s total COVID-19 caseload stood at 13.53 million — surpassing Brazil's 13.45 million — according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

India has administered some 105 million shots among a population of over 1.3 billion, so far. 

Sputnik V, if approved by the DCGI, will the third coronavirus vaccine authorized for use in the country, after the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, known in India as Covishield, and the indigenous Covaxin. 

dvv/msh (dpa, Reuters)

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